Right. Another six weeks have passed and so that means that it's surely time for me to play more Guild Ball! And by that I mean another tournament. Seems to be the only play I get these days.
"Bend it Like Bonesaw II" was held down South (where the Tory party lives). A last minute spot opened up and I was in there like a flash. As an actor said to a bishop.
My lineup was only changed in one key regard. I had been sold on the merits of Avarisse and Greede. They are more popular here than breathable air.
"They're quicker than Mist"
"They can also deal damage if it descends into fisticuffs"
These were the most common arguments for their inclusion and I was sold. But would they do me proud or be consigned to the bin? Read on, my dears. For simplicity I took the same lineup in each game: Obulus, Dirge, Graves1, Ghast, Brainpan and Memory, A&G. Decoys were Scalpel, Casket and Silence. For those keeping score that is indeed 8 players on the pitch. Mind = blown.
Game 1: Union (Matt Burns)
I think Union are in a really strong position these days. Three captains to choose from *and* they get Avarisse and Greede? Beautiful.
vRage, A&G, Snakeskin, Minx, Harry, Strongbox
I receive the ball and act a bit cagey. I don't push forward too far, wary of just how much Rage can F my S up. Also, and this is very important advice to any aspiring Morticians players, I forget to dodge Memory. At all. Because I'm a moron. Snakeskin (who kicked off) ploughs into Dirge but is quickly surrounded and shown what the dirt looks like close up. I manage to hold off out of Rage's threat range for a good 3 turns.
However, forgetting to dodge Memory forward costs me the ability to score and things rapidly go downhill. Snakeskin returns and with Clone makes an exceptional ball carrier/hider. Rage finally reaches my lines and I'm scrambling to get the ball. One catastrophic 10 point turn later the game ends 12-4 to the Union.
These guys aren't playing around.
Lesson learned (1): When your model has at least 10" of free dodges per turn, USE THEM.
Lesson learned (2): Snakeskin makes a fantastic counter to Puppet Master
Game 2: Hunters (Henry Clark)
I don't know what these guys do. I've been told by Miller that they're terrible and can be discounted. But I don't know what they do. 11 seems very low for influence, but I don't know what they do. They have a Captain with pigtails and a loner guy who I swear looks like an Orc. I don't know what they do.
Skatha, Fahad, Seenah, Jaecar, Zarola, Ulfr
I receive and again set up for an A&G turn 1 goal. I forget to dodge Memory forward repeatedly until my opponent 'kindly' reminds me. Then I realise I've dodged him into Jaecar's charge range. Sneaky hunters.
A&G snag the goal, but Greede is very shortly thereafter trampled to death by a wild bear. His Captain throws out areas of Fast ground, but Obulus gets better use out of them than anyone else - gliding around like an undertaker on roller skates. The Ferryman loves being 6"/8".
We trade a couple of goals whilst Ghast and Graves desperately take lion taming duty, keeping Seenah locked down.
Obulus clinches a winning goal but my clock was close to running down. 12-11 to the Morticians.
Lesson learned: Despite what the judge ruled (though much later graciously admitted he got wrong) Jaecar *can* trigger his own trap if under the effect of puppet master (or similar). Don't be fooled kids.
Lunch: Coffee shop sandwich. 3/7
Game 3: Union (Kev Bryant)
Kev may or may not be familiar to you. UK wargaming stalwart. Pressganger, Pundit and I'm sure many other things. Good lad. He was playing Union. Bastard.
Blackheart, A&G, Mist, Coin, Minx, Harry.
I kick off and he scores rather rapidly with A&G. I had been tempted to puppet master A&G apart to screw up their "attach/detach" shenanigans but I instead I invite the goal, then put Greede 6' under. Only 7 health, isolated from his team and with a Vengeance token on him, Greede is easy prey. 4-2 down (with Greede back to his board edge) is much easier to swallow than 4-0. Then I get the ball to A&G who try shenanigans of their own. And miss the goal. Ffs.
I dance around Blackheart for a bit, score, and even take out Avarisse after two turns of surrounding him with Obulus, Ghast, Dirge, Graves and Brainpan. Obulus makes a heroic sprint across the pitch, 2" +6" +1" +8", puppet mastering the ball off Mist 17" away and getting it to Brainpan for a winning goal. For some reason B&M with 4INF is infinitely better than with 3. No idea why.
Lesson learned: When separated from Avarisse, Greede is really very vulnerable to a half determined effort.
Game 4: Fishermen (Conor Rooney)
This feels familiar. Shark Fishermen.
Shark, Greyscales, Tentacles, Angel, Siren, Sakana.
This was definitely the Shark show, as it so often is. I don't think Greyscales and Tentacles got more than 1 INF for the entire game, and Angel/Siren only got a couple.
We trade two goals apiece until he kicks the ball into space near my goal rather than attempting a snapshot. I'm at +3 on the deciding initiative roll and of course lose it along with the game. Such is life vs Fish I guess. 12-8 to the Fishermen. I'm tempted to try more keepaway practice.
Lesson learned: You can't puppet master a model to pass to a member of their own team. I'll claim that it was late and my brain was fried.
An overall record of 2-2 saw me place 8th of 16. Top half! Not the coveted second place that I was hoping for though. There was also a raffle where I won....nothing. Boo.
I came away having had a great day, but not overly enamoured with Avarisse nor Greede. When things go well they're beautiful but when seperated (e.g. after a first turn goal), things can go downhill for both of them rapidly. If Greede is forced to return to play miles away from Avarisse then things are going to be rubbish for a turn or two. I'll also add that having 8 players in the pitch ate up my clock faster than me attacking a wedding buffet.
Final lesson learned: I think I'll head back to the loving embrace of Mist for the time being.
I've got a couple more irons in the fire so to speak, will update you when I do anything of any note: whether you like it or not.